Beech 18 on floats.

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Cat Driver
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Re: Beech 18 on floats.

#51 Post by Cat Driver » Sat Dec 27, 2014 7:03 pm

How much spread is there between the normal cruise speed on the turbine Otter and VNE, is the tail structure any concern?

The difference between the cruise and VNE in the Turbo Goose was very narrow and one had to really be aware of it.
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Re: Beech 18 on floats.

#52 Post by Liquid Charlie » Sun Dec 28, 2014 7:03 am

While the "junior" might possibly be the 2nd best round engine ever built (#1 going to the R2800) it's still an old engine and possibly the combination of beech 18 on floats with reduced airspeed puts it towards the higher end for possibility of failure (not too many float operators do motostats every 50 hours so that is another contributing factor -- rough water -- nope not a good rough water aeroplane - no spreader bars so float mounts take a beating and high speed will eventually split the keels if you venture out into rough water on a regular basis and the largest elephant in the room is the legal load -- to compete with a van or an otter you will have to overload so while it was a great aeroplane in it's day and one I enjoyed very much to fly on floats wheels and skis it has been basically forced into retirement by the times -- also the availability of fuel in so areas as well --- if I won the lottery I would own one on wheels - best play toy anyone could want :smt040
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Re: Beech 18 on floats.

#53 Post by Cat Driver » Sun Dec 28, 2014 8:33 am

Your points are valid Charlie and for a commercial charter operation competing with new turbine aircraft it has those negatives.

For our purpose and for the area we will be using it it will do just fine because we will not be competing with anyone nor will we be concerned about fuel as we will have fuel at the lodge and it will be restricted to six passengers and baggage...so no over gross loads to be concerned about.

All of the above has been clearly explained to the operator who we will be using. :mrgreen:

When we want new turbine aircraft to charter the West Coast is over stocked with them. :mrgreen:
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Re: Beech 18 on floats.

#54 Post by Just another canuck » Sun Dec 28, 2014 9:32 am

So, how do you get the fuel there? Fly it in? So, now instead of one trip with a Turbo Otter, it's 3 trips with a Beech? One for the fuel and 2 for the people and cargo, because the Beech load is half that of a Turbo Otter.

When they split the engine on one of the Garrett Otters in Ontario a couple years ago at I believe 4000 hours (maybe 3500), half way to it's overhaul, it cost them under 50 K to get it back up to speed. I can't remember exactly what they had to replace, but other than your average maintenance, maybe a starter, some new batteries every few seasons, I'd say the cost is pretty low in comparison to overhauling two 985's every 1400 hours. And again, the Garrett burns 40 gal/hr or less the higher you climb. You have to do two trips with a Beech for every trip with an Otter. We don't even send our Beaver North anymore unless absolutely necessary, because it's cheaper to send the Otter and you can haul twice as much.

The 10 % you speak of can be applied to almost anything. I had both my FCU's extended 10 % last summer. And speaking of FCU's, doesn't the PT-6 Otter have the same mechanism as the Caravan where if it fails, you can just bypass it and return home for a fix.

Like cory_trevor pointed out, the emergency exits are very poor as well. No one ever intends to crash or cart wheel an aircraft, but it does happen and I say good luck to the pilot and passenger in the right seat as well as anyone in the forward cabin.

The Otter does have speed restrictions. It cruises just below it's Vmo on floats. It's slightly higher on skis. I don't see the real set back here... so you have to throttle back in the descent. The tail structure thing... I've heard lots of hoorah about it, but I've never had a problem and don't know anyone who really has. The few accidents I can think of where it has been thought of as a possible cause... well, nothing was ever proven. I believe my boss said he has an incident with the counterweight on the stab where it came loose or fell off, but he managed to get it on the water. That old radial caused a lot of vibrations. ;-)
Liquid Charlie wrote:it has been basically forced into retirement by the times
Exactly. If it still had a place in today's world, then they would be sitting at the dock instead of Otters and Caravans. Hell, I don't think they're allowed to fly in Australia anymore commercially. Perhaps Canada is next?

Chuck, next thing you'll be telling us is you bought yourself a Norseman for the smaller groups. :roll: :wink:
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Re: Beech 18 on floats.

#55 Post by Cat Driver » Sun Dec 28, 2014 9:48 am

Like cory_trevor pointed out, the emergency exits are very poor as well. No one ever intends to crash or cart wheel an aircraft, but it does happen and I say good luck to the pilot and passenger in the right seat as well as anyone in the forward cabin.
The people in the front can exit through the top hatch in the roof...where the pilot exits every time you dock.

I sure appreciate all the concerns shown here for us and our choice for one method of serving our guests, however it is our money, our lodge and our choice made by me knowing exactly the plusses and minuses of the airplane in this discussion.

People who like warbirds and antique aircraft generally do not care what it costs to ride in them, I learned that in spades during the time we operated a warbird restoration and flight training business. :mrgreen:

By the way Cory and Just another Canuck, how much time do you two have on a Beech 18 on floats and who owned them?
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Re: Beech 18 on floats.

#56 Post by Just another canuck » Sun Dec 28, 2014 10:09 am

New that was going to come up. Never flown one Chuck. Should have mentioned that in the first place. Just watched them chew up the entire lake for four years and cringe every time they barely make the tree tops. I won't mention any operators. If I wanted to fly one, I suspect I could. And that doesn't mean the guys who fly it don't enjoy it. I know they do. But that's not what's on topic here.

I hate to ask, but have you done an under water egress course? I suspect you have. I have. Hell of a time getting out of the door and windows. I can't imagine what it would be like to try to get out the hatch. I would ask my friend who cart wheeled his, but neither he nor his wife made it out of the hatch either.
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Re: Beech 18 on floats.

#57 Post by cory_trevor » Sun Dec 28, 2014 11:05 am

I just simply wanted to point out that an aircraft like the otter has 5 easily accessible emergency exits where the beech only has 2 and I think it's pretty obvious the chances of an overweight tourist on their way to or from a fishing lodge is going to make it out the cockpit hatch in the beech especially if he's trying to get out at the same time as the pilot. Then there's the other 5 guys in the back all trying to get out one door in dark murky water. I'm not trying to start an argument, I think the beech is a great performing old warbird.
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Re: Beech 18 on floats.

#58 Post by flyinthebug » Sun Dec 28, 2014 11:12 am

Just another canuck wrote:New that was going to come up. Never flown one Chuck. Should have mentioned that in the first place. Just watched them chew up the entire lake for four years and cringe every time they barely make the tree tops. I won't mention any operators. If I wanted to fly one, I suspect I could. And that doesn't mean the guys who fly it don't enjoy it. I know they do. But that's not what's on topic here.

I hate to ask, but have you done an under water egress course? I suspect you have. I have. Hell of a time getting out of the door and windows. I can't imagine what it would be like to try to get out the hatch. I would ask my friend who cart wheeled his, but neither he nor his wife made it out of the hatch either.
JAC...I am sincerely sorry to hear of the loss of your friend(s) in what was obviously a tragic accident. Not knowing any more than you just offered about that crash, could they have been in a situation where they were unconscious and maybe unable to open the hatch for that reason? I always found the hatch as an easy way in and out (only way up front as has been pointed out). I am curious as to why you seem to be so passionately questioning Chuck at every turn? Perhaps you have a strong dislike for B18s due to your personal loss, and again, I am sincerely sorry...and I do understand...but to this point your argument has been specious at times if not down right insulting at others.

I love the old B 18s like most of us do. Whether or not they are appropriate for a commercial operation, who are we to say? As Chuck said, its his money and he has a fair bit of experience to draw on...so id suspect he has done his homework. Would I choose a Twin Beech over a DHC3T...nope I wouldn't. I agree with some of your comparisons. That said, if it is a lodge that caters to old timers that love vintage airplanes...do you have any idea how much they are willing to pay to be flown into their camps by a "vintage" bird? There is a market and as I said in my earlier post, I was very close to buying a B18 just a few years ago, so at one point I felt strongly that a Beech 18 would suit the needs of my customers best. The spar issue was the only thing that stopped the project from moving forward. So you never know what Chuck may have up his sleeve and you`re starting to become more aggravating then inquisitive now.

That all said, maybe you will feel like sharing the story of those you lost> Its been therapeutic to me over the years and we ALL will get it on some level. That is just horribly sad to hear...I am sorry. I send my condolences on your loss.

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Re: Beech 18 on floats.

#59 Post by Cat Driver » Sun Dec 28, 2014 3:17 pm

Thanks Flying the Bug, you have pointed out the obvious and anyone can look back at my posts on this subject and it is obvious my reason for wanting a B18 on floats is for a target market.

As to all the hand wringing about crashing into trees and cart wheeling on the water one could sit here for the next century and find all kinds of reasons you can get killed in anything.


For instance how easy would it be for seven people to get out of a Beaver that is twisted out of shape upside down in the water.

My way of operating aircraft is don't crash them then getting out is not a problem.
I think the beech is a great looking old warbird but I don't believe it has a place in commercial aviation anymore,
Good thing you are not making these decisions in Transport Canada, fortunately they have a different view as they are still legal to operate commercially.

As to you and J A C mentioning you have not flown one but not because you couldn't , that is really a great claim...because all certified aircraft were designed for the lowest common denominator in society to be able to safely fly them.

Hopefully you two at least reach that level of skills as pilots.
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Re: Beech 18 on floats.

#60 Post by cory_trevor » Sun Dec 28, 2014 5:51 pm

It's obvious that this thread is a lost cause. You started it to get others opinions between the beech and beavers/otters yet all you do is belittle them when they state their own opinion. You should have just titled it "The Beech 18 is the best floatplane ever built because I said so". All I did was voice my concern about pax safety in regards to the beech and your only defense was that you have 25k hours and you don't crash airplanes so emergency exits aren't an issue for you. You also mentioned you have no desire to fly the thing so shouldn't pax safety be one of your main concerns if somebody else will be operating the aircraft?
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Re: Beech 18 on floats.

#61 Post by Cat Driver » Sun Dec 28, 2014 6:26 pm

You also mentioned you have no desire to fly the thing so shouldn't pax safety be one of your main concerns if somebody else will be operating the aircraft?
No I am not concerned about the safety of the operator of this airplane, because he is one of the highest time sea plane pilots in Canada, who like me has had an accident free career.

And he has owned and operated this B18 for over ten years here on the west coast.

This discussion has become circular so I am finished posting about the safety aspect of operating a B18 on floats.

Have a safe and happy new year. :D
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Re: Beech 18 on floats.

#62 Post by CLguy » Sun Dec 28, 2014 6:35 pm

Why has no one mentioned the Emergency Exit mid way down the fuselage on the right side over the wing. There is also the rear door and some Beech's even had a rear door on both sides. There are 2 side windows in the cockpit that open and 6 or 8 plexiglass windows in the cabin that could be kicked out as well. The overhead hatch on the roof in the cockpit is not the only exit point. You guys make it sound like a collapsed cave would be easier to get out of.
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Re: Beech 18 on floats.

#63 Post by Cat Driver » Sun Dec 28, 2014 7:03 pm

How's it hangin Clguy?

Ever see Driving Rain around?
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Re: Beech 18 on floats.

#64 Post by esp803 » Sun Dec 28, 2014 8:38 pm

Cat Driver wrote:My way of operating aircraft is don't crash them then getting out is not a problem.
For all your experience, this is the single dumbest thing I think you have ever posted on this site. Almost two years ago a lot of us lost a dear friend, who I dare say had almost as much experience as you. Nobody is infallible, not even you.
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Re: Beech 18 on floats.

#65 Post by zeppelin » Sun Dec 28, 2014 9:21 pm

Think I'll go make some popcorn and sit and read this all night..The suspense is killing me..Whats coming next..It's more gripping than Who shot JR.
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Re: Beech 18 on floats.

#66 Post by Just another canuck » Mon Dec 29, 2014 4:38 am

At the risk of sounding insulting and aggravating... :roll:

I didn't realize there was a market for people that want to fly in vintage planes and go fishing... this is a fishing lodge, isn't it? Not sure if that was every clarified and I'm not going back to check. I also find it hard to believe. I would say there is a group that wants to fish and there are people who want to fly in old warbirds and will pay good money for it. I had the pleasure of sitting in the right seat of a B-24 last summer and it was probably the most enjoyment I've ever felt in an airplane. That being said, Chuck and his business partner can do whatever they like and I'm sure they will.

The fact is, Chuck knew all the pros and cons about all aircraft in the category he was searching in. We all know that. He started the thread to stir the pot as he so often does. Then when he found himself in a corner and was no longer able to defend his opinion, he resorts to telling us about having 30,000 hours, once having flown for a Hollywood movie and owned a flight training business. Not relevant to the topic, and rarely has it been the 1000 other times he's posted that information. It's obvious there are several other people that agree with me on the subject, but this site has turned into a hallway of your public high school, where it seems certain opinions are valued and others are not due to "forum status."

With regards to the safety aspect, as that's what this last page seems to have turned into, that was merely one small point why the Twin Beech might be considered inferior. Has everyone forgotten about performance, fuel burn, legal load, reliability, docking, fuel cost/availability, it's inability to effectively handle rough water, comfort, etc., etc., etc. I merely pointed these flaws out and maybe Chuck was hoping everyone would praise the idea instead of point out the factual truth. I don't know.

Here's some food for thought. I work with an elderly gentleman with over 45,000 hours of flight time. My neighbour and his brother each have 30,000 + hours as well and have flown everything from Cessna's to 747's. Between the 3 of them, that's over 100,000 hours of time and a hell of a lot more float time than anyone on here. When I told each one of them there are still B 18's and Norseman flogging around Northern Ontario, their eyeballs nearly burst out of their head. They couldn't believe it. The idea was almost laughable. Now, are they right? Maybe. Maybe not. Their thoughts were the same as mine. Surely, there is a better option in this day in age. And they've all flown the Beech.

That being said, I like the Beech 18. A polished B 18 is probably the best looking thing on the water and the sound of the two 985's chugging away only adds to the flavour. But next time you post a topic on a public forum, think about whether or not you are going to like what you hear. If not, maybe shy away, but otherwise feel free. However, don't flame people just for voicing their opinions and pointing out the simple truth. Thank you for reminding me why I post so rarely on this site.
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Re: Beech 18 on floats.

#67 Post by Cat Driver » Mon Dec 29, 2014 9:06 am

I didn't realize there was a market for people that want to fly in vintage planes and go fishing... this is a fishing lodge, isn't it?
No it is not...in fact it has nothing to do with fishing.
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Re: Beech 18 on floats.

#68 Post by Mapleflt » Mon Dec 29, 2014 1:57 pm

Sounds like Chicken Ranch North, sorry mod's I couldn't resist.
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Re: Beech 18 on floats.

#69 Post by Cat Driver » Mon Dec 29, 2014 5:01 pm

We are building a high end corporate retreat facility for businesses to take groups to.

Generally the groups will be between 20 and 40 people and stays of between two days and a week.

Now that the Beech 18 idea has been thoroughly dissected and either praised or totally dismissed as a bad choice, maybe I should get some advice on the Bell 206 is that another bad idea? :smt040
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Re: Beech 18 on floats.

#70 Post by North Shore » Mon Dec 29, 2014 5:24 pm

Well, I work next door to a helicopter company. When I started, 14 years ago, they were exclusively 204/205 and 206; now the 206s have been almost completely replaced by Astars....

(Sorry, couldn't resist! :D )
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Re: Beech 18 on floats.

#71 Post by Liquid Charlie » Mon Dec 29, 2014 5:50 pm

Generally the groups will be between 20 and 40 people and stays of between two days and a week.
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Re: Beech 18 on floats.e

#72 Post by Mapleflt » Mon Dec 29, 2014 8:29 pm

Advice, really Cat Driver :? :roll:
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Re: Beech 18 on floats.

#73 Post by Cat Driver » Tue Dec 30, 2014 7:49 am

Advice, really Cat Driver
Why of course, just look at how many hits this subject gets.

Or would you rather we just pat each other on the backs and flying becomes a glee club where when someone lands gear up in a two crew airplane people just shrug and say shit happens? :rolleyes:
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Re: Beech 18 on floats.

#74 Post by CLguy » Tue Dec 30, 2014 8:13 am

The original question was asking about a Beech 18 on floats compared to a Piston Otter or Beaver. I still stand by my original answer that it is better but if you plan on moving groups of up to 40 people every few days with one airplane then you are definitely looking at the wrong aircraft. Every aircraft mentioned is the wrong one if you are only talking one airplane. No corporations are going to want to waste 2 full days standing around on docks waiting to get all their people moved in and out of their meeting place. Doesn't matter if you decide to use any aircraft that has been discussed on this thread you are still looking at pretty much a whole day affair to move 40 people and that won't fly. They want to show up and board multiple aircraft and all move at once or as close to that as possible.

Not sure why we had to have this thread dragged through movie making, insurance policies, the merits of crashing or not, who has or had the longest dick just to realize that a one horse show is a bad idea.

Talked to Driving Rain the other day. He's living the dream in retirement.

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Re: Beech 18 on floats.

#75 Post by bmc » Wed Dec 31, 2014 3:34 am

My take on this thread is simple. Chuck and his partner have an airworthy Beech 18 parked on a fresh water lake near Nanaimo. They have a chance to put it to good use with minimal cash outlay. They are both aware of the age of the airplane, how turbine is preferential for a myriad of reasons, but don't have the moola to spring for one for a potential contract in front of them. Best short term option is to fire up the plane they have. Give that scenario, Chuck was seeking input.

Did I get that right Chuck?
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